Ladies Night Dec. 2017 with Susan Alberti AC

200 Members and Guests attended an inspiration great night at the Ballarat Golf Club. Thanks Susan.

Merv Hughes Dinner – July 2017

Merv was a fantastic speaker

Some of 150 Members & their guests

Members Ray Weinberg & John Vernon



Members Steve Troon, Errol Brown & Alan Campbell

Table No. 1 with Life Member Peter Blackburn, Members Wayne Simpson, Rob Benoit, David Blackburn & Duane Findlay

Member Peter Hill

Members Peter Hill & Bill Allan

Members Mick Hynes & Bill Bruhn

President Barry Packham inducts new Member Fred Reus

Merv signs a book for a Guest

Merv with Member Trevor McCann

Merv with Life Member Peter Blackburn

Steve Brand with his purchase

The winners- Members Paul Broster and Craig Wilding with the goodies

Merv & Natalie Purtell – Ballarat Golf Club Functions Manager

Merv with Member John Lewis

Club Honorary Secretary Bruce Valpied and Merv

John Valpied, his guest Graham Wilkie, Members Barry Wright & Bryan Thomas

Members – Essendon Legend John Birt with North Ballarat Hall of Fame Member Allan (Arab) Abrams

Members Tennis Champion Peter Keller & Ian Fryar

Member Christian Ashby introducing his father-in-law Fred Reus as a Member

The Ashby/Reus table

Ashley Ashley Pittard & Merv

Member Andrew Faull thanks Merv for being with us.

Geoffrey William Torney AM – Vale

VALE:   Geoff Torney AM

Geoffrey W Torney AM

Geoffrey passed away on June 14th. 2017.

  • Member since 1969.
  • Club Committee for 5 Years.
  • President 1978/1980.
  • Sportsperson of the Year prestigious Mackenzie Award recipient in 2010 for his services to Sport (Horse Racing).
  • Sportsperson of the Year Committee Member for 2 years.
  • Respected Mentor and adviser to the Club Committee and Members.
  • Horse Racing identity known and respected throughout Australia and overseas.

Geoff was much loved by all who knew him and will be most sadly missed. Sincere sympathy to his wife Janet and family.

Bill McLennan given Life Membership of Athletics Victoria

Bill McLennan                                                     Athletic Victoria Logo

Bill’s Life Membership was in recognition of 35 years service to Athletics Victoria as an Athletics Official


Mike Hallahan admitted to the Ballarat Football League Hall of Fame

Michael Hallahan                                                 BFL Logo

Mike had a long and distinguished football career and well deserved his great honour of  joining some of his fellow greats in the Hall of Fame.

Holly Dobbyn wins at Stawell

Holly DobbynWHEN the gates loomed about 10 metres ahead,

Holly Dobbyn could feel she was clear in front, having burst past all her rivals.

Excitement kicked in, so too the adrenaline, and she surged at the finish to capture the $6000 Stawell Women’s Gift 120m handicap title yesterday.

All preparations had been for this moment after the 17-year-old was forced to pull out of her Ballarat sprint title defence in February with a hamstring injury.

An acute focus on Stawell helped Dobbyn’s patience and diligence in rehabilitation and her training comeback.

Final words from her coach Peter O’Dwyer, an experienced Stawell campaigner, were telling and helped settle nerves.

Dobbyn had been a much-hyped prospect after dominating her heat on Saturday and semi-final earlier in the Easter Monday program.

“He said that I’d done all the work, all I had to do now was run my best,” Dobbyn said.

“I was really nervous for the semi-final but I was settled a bit more for the final.

“The question was all about getting into the final first.”

Dobbyn gives O’Dwyer two feature sprint wins at Stawell as a coach, adding to stablemate Matt Wiltshire’s 2012 Stawell Gift victory.

The Ballarat Grammar student powered off 11.5 metres in the blue to win in 13.13 seconds.

Ararat’s Sarah Blizzard (12.5m) was her runner-up with Durham Lead’s Kate Jones (13.25m) third.

Jones made a dramatic dash to get to the final, after breaking in semi-final one to be pulled one metre and qualifying on a fast time.

The region’s trifecta was impressive but this was all about Dobbyn, who was swamped by a large POD Squad pack from the finishing gates until well after she collected her sash.

O’Dwyer and decorated stablemate Tara Domaschenz chaired Dobbyn past the crowds gathered in Central Park’s historic grandstand, all the way to the podium.

The proud trainer said he knew Dobbyn had the mental toughness to pull off a win on Australian professional racing’s biggest stage.

“When she hurt herself before the Ballarat Gift, Holly was devastated but we made her focus on Stawell and she never put a foot wrong,” O’Dwyer said.

“She’s a dream to coach, does everything you want from her, and she delivered at Stawell.”

Dobbyn said her close friends, training partners and toughest rivals Tara Domaschenz and Grace O’Dwyer had been pivotal in pushing her so much each and every training session to this moment.

There is little rest before Dobbyn is back to training and measuring up her next assignment, although she conceded she might take a week or so off before getting back to work.

“We train all year,” Dobbyn said. “We don’t stop.”

But she loves every minute.

Holly Dobbyn 2 Holly Dobbyn 1

Holly is the daughter of Club Member Mark Dobbyn and his wife Sue Mark Dobbyn

Well done Holly!!

Tamsin Hinchley

From Club Secretary Bruce Valpied:  Tamsin-Hinchley

I recently had a chat to Tamsin and asked how things were going with her now following her ankle reconstruction last year and the birth of  Al’s and her second child just before last Christmas.   It was great to here from Tamsin who is highly regarded as a friend of the Ballarat Sportsmen’s Club.

She sent me this note:

So, where am I at… The FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour has just begun for 2014 and I am watching it with pangs of jealousy that I am not also competing.  I am however very much adoring being the mum to our new little girl Saskia Zoe Hinchley who is 5 months old now (born Dec 7th, 2013).  Her older brother Arley is now 4 and is also quite doting of her as well as extremely energetic which definitely keeps us all moving (I joke to him that he is my coach to which he immediately answers with instructions for me to copy him in a certain ninja-like yoga pose).  My husband Al now cycles competitively in the Melbourne A-grade which means he is out most mornings and weekends clocking up the kms so I feel I am in the new position of supporting an athlete rather that being one.

I would like to return to beach volleyball competitively but am not sure how it would work.  For now I am satisfied with working my way back to fitness.  It is difficult to switch off from the elite training mind-set though so I have decided to embrace it rather than fight it!

I have spoken with ex-Matilda’s captain Theresa Deas who informed me with utter honesty that at the age of 50 part of her still believes she can compete with the best in the world “you never lose that part of you” she said.  But I also remember Steve Moneghetti saying something along the lines of “don’t limit yourself with retirement” and that is most genuinely how I feel.

My ankle reconstruction from last March has healed well for which I am very grateful.   I’ve been coaching volleyball at Mentone Grammar as well as for the Victorian Olympic Committee which runs Active Days throughout Victoria. I have also completed my qualifications for Personal Training and Fitness Business Management alongside some Postgraduate Professional Writing studies through Swinburne University.

And I’m still writing for the group “Champion Mums”, trying to deliver informative and insightful articles to support mothers to continue with their sporting and fitness goals along side caring for their family ( ).

So all is well and perhaps a lot simpler than before and I am enjoying the everyday challenges and delights of raising a family.

Tamsin Hinchley (nee Barnett)

                                    Tamsin Hinchley family                                                                 Tamsin 2   Tamsin 5

     Tamsin 4   Tamsin 3

Port Macquarie Ironman 2014

A number of Ballarat Sportsmen’s Club Members have travelled to Port Macquarie again this year to participate in the annual Ironman Events.

Greg McIntosh, Wayne Mattthews, Graham Cheeseman, Michael Edgar, Craig Schepis, John Burt and his two sons Adrian & Ashley along with Club friend Brett O’Neill.

Club Members and friends wish them all well.

Congratulations to all who attended and competed – some good times in there too.

Port Macquarie Ironman logoPort MacquariePort Macquarie 1Port Macquarie 2 

Josh Brien

Mick O’Neill Swimming Award winner and rising Ballarat swimming star Josh Brien has had a top six finish in the Australian All-Age Swimming Championships in Sydney. A Ballarat Gold Swimming Club Member Josh  claimed sixth place in the boys 12-13 years’ 100m backstroke final.

Josh qualified for the 10 strong final with the 8th. fasted time – 1:5.44 seconds.  He then bettered his PB of 1:5.42 in the final which bettered his personal best by 2.46 seconds.

Josh also smashed his 200m backstroke PB by 5.45 seconds.  He produced a 2:22.09 swim in the heat which ranked him 12th and only one second outside a qualifying time for the final.

Congratulations to Josh a worthy winner of the Mick O’Neill Encouragement Award.

Mick O’Neill Award 2014

Josh Brien 2014 Mick O'Neill Award winner

Josh Brien with his Mum and Dad
2014 Mick O’Neill Award winner

Mick O'Neill Award dinner
              Brett O’Neill, Craig Schepis and Josh Brien.

Mick O’Neill Encouragement Award 2014

The Ballarat Sportsmen’s Club at it’s April dinner acknowledged and congratulated a young swimmer with the “Mick O’Neill” Encouragement Award. This award is being generously presented by the Club in memory of Club member & Past President Mick O’Neill who passed away in 2001. Mick was, along with Morgan Murphy, the driving force behind swimming in Ballarat and the formation of the Ballarat swim club. Mick became interested in coaching and commenced the club’s traditional Tuesday and Thursday evening sessions developing the younger swimmers, and is still continued today.

It was suggested by the Club’s committee on Mick’s passing that his contribution to swimming always be remembered, which led to the inclusion of this prestigious award. It is intended that the award recognizes a young swimmer who demonstrates ability and determination to succeed, two characteristics really appreciated by Mick in his involvement with the sport. The trophy (originally designed by Darrell Chibnall) signifies a drop of water.

Each year a replica of the trophy is prepared for the award recipient by the craftsmanship of Geoff Pfeiffer (Renard Tooling) and engraving provided by Geoff Hocking (Sturt Street Cobbler)

Tribute was paid to Mick who’s Memory lives on through the award and the attendance of Mick’s son Brett, Daughter in-law Suzy and Grand-daughters Emma & Kate

Brett O’Neill presented the 2014 Award to Joshua Brien

Since josh was a baby, the pool has been a great place to play, particularly with his grand-father. He has been swimming competitively since he was 9 or 10 with the Ballarat Gold Swimming Club. Backstroke has proven to be the favourite right from the start and has seen many personal bests in just about every competitive swim. Butterfly has also become a favoured stroke. Over the past 12 months, while representing Ballarat Gold Josh has brought home many medals and continued to PB for his events. Late last year Josh’s hard work really paid off when he competed at the Victorian State Age championships in December. He qualified for the 100 and 200 backstroke for National Age Championships, being held in Sydney late April. At that same swim meet Josh broke the 100m backstroke country record twice in the one day! His efforts at Vic State Age resulted in 2 silver medals, and multiple PB’s.

January 2014 at the State Country championships, Josh brought home 3 gold medals for 100 Backstroke, 100 Fly, and 100 Freestyle and 1 bronze for 100 Breaststroke.

Josh was also named best swimmer in country Victoria for his age group.